Sunday 18 August 2019

Sex Education’s Emma Mackey: My mum binge-watched the first series in a weekend

The 23-year-old plays the unpredictable and independent wild-child Maeve Wiley in the hit Netflix drama.

Emma Mackey will return as Maeve Wiley in the second series of Sex Education (Ian West/PA)
Emma Mackey will return as Maeve Wiley in the second series of Sex Education (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Sex Education star Emma Mackey’s mother enjoyed the hit Netflix show so much she binge-watched the first series in a single weekend.

Mackey appears as Maeve Wiley in the teenage drama starring Gillian Anderson as a sex therapist and Asa Butterfield as her son who starts his own sex advice clinic at school.

The 23-year-old, who was born and raised in northwestern France, told ES Magazine that friends and family had commended her for tackling a role that dealt with sex so explicitly.

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Emma Mackey in ES Magazine (ES Magazine/PA)

She said: “They love it. Everyone I know of my grandparents’ generation said that they wished it had existed when they were younger.

“Everyone in my family watched it. My mum’s best friend flew to France to watch it with her, and they binged it in the course of a weekend.”

Netflix, which is famously secretive about viewing figures, previously touted the series saying it was on course to be watched by 40 million households within the first four weeks of streaming.

The cast are set to reprise their roles for the next instalment, while Laurie Nunn will return as creator and executive producer after the show was renewed earlier this year.

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Mackey will return as Maeve Wiley in the second series (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mackey said her upbringing had been nothing like that of her unpredictable and independent on-screen character.

She said: “It was really … nice. I went to a Catholic school and did loads of sport and I was really happy.

“I loved studying and was very bookish. It was quite a sheltered existence.”

She added that she had had to become a little more like her character when she moved to the UK to study at the University of Leeds.

“I had to toughen up a bit,” she said.

“People made me realise I was quite innocent and oblivious to certain things.

“I wanted to make people like me.”

This is at odds to Wiley, with her pink hair, vintage denim jackets and devil-may-care attitude.

Read the full interview in this week’s issue of ES Magazine, out on Thursday April 4.

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